Archive for November, 2011

De-cluttering Your Living Room

One of the most important rooms in a house is the living room. It’s the area where families gather, entertaining takes place, and guests even sleep the night away.  With this kind of multi-functionality, it is important to keep your living room clean, organized, and inviting for your family and your guests.

A cluttered living room can create a negative, uninviting impression, which leads to family members retreating to their bedrooms or spreading out to different areas of the house, rather than gathering and spending time together.  That defeats the purpose of having a “living” room and leaves an entire area of your house unused.  So, if you would like to create a space where your family members can spend quality time with each other and that you are proud to show to your guests, it’s time to start de-cluttering.

Gather your cleaning tools, tap into your creativity and organizational skills, and check out these tips…

  • Remove everything that shouldn’t be in your living room. If there are clothes, shoes, cooking utensils, dining essentials, bathroom necessities, or anything else not related to your living room, remove them!  You don’t have to throw things away; just put them back where they belong.  In other words, tidy up.
  • Keep your floor as clear and as spacious as possible by limiting excess furniture.  A sofa set with a coffee table, a few storage devices, and an entertainment unit will provide you with everything you need for an attractive, comfortable living room.
  • Make use of versatile storage areas. Leave extra space on your coffee table to stack magazines and books. If you have an entertainment center surrounding your TV, make sure it has several storage compartments, so you can store your DVD’s, CD’s, wires and cables, and remote controls.
  • Hide your TV if you don’t use it that often. Entertainment units with cabinet doors that can be closed to cover the TV are an attractive option and they encourage other activities in the living room aside from watching TV.
  • Include a window seat to avoid having more chairs inside the room. A window seat can fit several people and is great for accommodating guests while entertaining.
  • Invest in organizational boxes and baskets. Designate newspaper racks, magazine displays, and other small things in your living room. Also, include a toy chest that can double as an extra table or seat.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Decorating Your Christmas Tree

Christmas is just around the corner and what does that mean? It means it’s time to decorate your house with colorful Christmas frills! And who could forget the tree. Christmas tree’s are one of the most important Christmas decorations that any household can have.

Decorating a Christmas tree can be difficult with some many different decorating visions, from the classic Christmas ornaments to various garlands.  You can stick to traditional or opt for something for unexpected.  Some people liter their entire tree with personal, handmade ornaments. But whatever decoration plan you have in store for your tree, the most important thing is to enjoy it together with your family.

So, if you are undecided on what decorations you want for your tree, consider these ideas:

  • Create your own decorations. You can gather old Christmas nametags and hang them on your tree. Make your own Christmas ornaments using used papers wadded into balls and painted in various colors. You can also create ribbons using used gift ribbons.
  • Make your tree sparkle like a diamond. Fill it with glass jewels, crystals or glass beads. You can string together glass beads and surround them around the tree. Hang several jewels on your tree so it can sparkle at night.  To make your tree look even more stunning, place it near your ceiling light so the light can reflect back on your jewel decors to make it sparkle that much more.
  • Use fresh flowers. If you by chance have any flowers in full bloom, make use of their grandeur and place them on your tree to help exemplify it’s natural beauty. Choose flowers in various colors or you can stick to a single color. Just make sure you take away and replace flowers that are starting to go dry when necessary.
  • Create a theme for your Christmas tree. Fill your tree with different planets, stars and suns of gold to create a celestial-themed tree. You can even go nature-inspired with various animal decorations.
  • Go natural. Natural decorations will match perfectly with your natural Christmas tree. Fill your tree with tiny, fall leaves. You can also use pinecones and dried flowers.
  • Go for two small trees rather than one big tree. This will look great in smaller spaces as bigger trees cannot fit inside all living rooms. Decorate both trees identically and place each tree on both sides of the fireplace or at the entrance to your living room.
  • Make it more personal. Fill it with small pictures of you and your family celebrating previous Christmases together. You can also include name tags from the different gifts you have exchanged with your family. This will make you tree more memorable and the talk of the town during the Christmas Eve celebration.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Impact Oklahoma Offers Grants For Three Organizations

More funds normally means more aid and that is true especially for service-oriented organizations that provide people a solution to their problems. A small increase in their funding could mean the purchasing of more advanced technology to be used in giving people quality service.

Now, with the grants offered by Impact Oklahoma, a women’s organization servicing the community by donating funds to charitable organizations, three service organizations in Oklahoma will be receiving grants. These Oklahoma residents will be able to receive more efficient service in the medical sector, food provisions, and programs for the homeless.

Impact Oklahoma will be funding three selected organizations with up to $100,000 this week. NewView Oklahoma has received a $100,000 check grant, City Rescue Mission $100,000, and Homeless Alliance $79,500.

NewView Oklahoma will use the money to build a clinic that will cater to Oklahomans who have poor to no vision. There will be around 1,500 patients served annually. With the funds provided by Impact Oklahoma, NewView Oklahoma will be able to include services that will ensure their patients can be independent despite their loss of vision.

For City Rescue Mission, the money received will be used to create a food pantry for low-income families. The proposed pantry is expected to serve more than 12,000 per year. Lastly, Homeless Alliance will use their new funds to enhance their support for homeless families in Oklahoma through various programs. They expect to help 200 families in the next two years.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Stylish Storage Ideas for Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the busiest area in our house and it is also where we use a lot of things.  That said, it is essential that you have sufficient storage to maintain cleanliness and organization of your cookware and utensils. When choosing storage for your kitchen, consider not only the practical qualities of an item, but also keep in mind how it can work with the existing décor of your kitchen to keep everything elegant and continuous.

So, put your creative mind to work and begin exploring stylish storage options for your kitchen. Here are some wonderful ideas:

  • Invest in dual shelving. Shelves are common in kitchens, but they are generally only used for storing your plates and utensils. If you have beautiful plates you wish you could display, look for another area in your kitchen that will showcase them. Dual shelving is great because it allows you to store and display. The lower compartment is fully covered, allowing you to store your extra plates, pots, pans, etc. The upper portion can be left open or covered with glass and allows you to display your expensive china or antique plate collection.
  • Get rid of your cabinet doors. Well, not all of them. But, find areas that you feel are underutilized and that would look fine being exposed, such as the side doors of your kitchen cabinets.  You can remove the doors and insert wicker baskets to create more functional storage space, while adding a nice decorative touch.
  • Convert your kitchen island into a multi-use storage area. Your kitchen island countertop is not the only area you can utilize – the bottom area also has room for a lot of added storage. Rather than closing all the side of your kitchen island, remove the sides and doors to create access to the bottom area. On one side, include a stylish wine rack. On another side, install a pull out drawer for your silverware.  Another side can hold your chopping board rack or a plate rack. Utilizing the bottom portion of your island also creates a perfect area for storing larger containers and bottles.
  • A pot rack never gets old, so why not include this classy and efficient accessory in your kitchen? If you do not have a kitchen island over which to hang the rack, place it in one corner above your kitchen cabinets or hang it on top of your stove for easy access.  You can even hang bundled raw vegetables along with your pots, which adds a splash of character. If you don’t like the look of traditional pot racks, paint and insert hooks into a garden trellis and you’ll instantly add a unique, chic element to your kitchen.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Oklahoma City Celebrates 25th Annual Fall Peace Festival This Saturday

This coming Saturday will be a great day for some holiday shopping for all Oklahomans as the city will be hosting the 25th annual Fall Peace Festival at the Civic Center Hall of Mirrors, 201 N. Walker. Joining the festival with be a plethora of vendors and social justice groups, ready to assist their potential buyers in whatever they might need.

The 25th annual Fall Peace Festival will start from 10 in the morning and last until 4 in the afternoon. No need to bring extra money for admission as entrance is free. Those who love crafts will definitely enjoy this special day of shopping celebrations.

Throughout the duration of the event, there will be more than 50 tables in the area with various product and services being offered. Some of the craft vendors will sell different handicrafts from jewelries, clothing, and decorative displays for the holidays. Surely it will be a nice way to start shopping for holiday decorations and gifts.

Aside from the craft tables, there will also be food items offered. The Oklahoma Vegetarian Society will be selling various homemade food items as well as providing recipes for a plant-based diet to interested customers. There will also be fair trade goods offered like coffee, carving, fabrics, clothing items, and pottery.

But, of course, no event would be complete without live entertainment. According to Conna Wilkinson, the Director of the Peace Education Institute, there will be local musicians that will provide the live entertainment as well as a children’s activity room, managed by adults, for the little ones.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Removing Refrigerator Odor

Is your refrigerator starting to smell bad? Are you hesitant in opening your refrigerator door, especially around visitors, in fear that they might be appalled by the horrible smell? If you answered yes to at least one of these questions, then it is time to clean out your refrigerator immediately!

Whenever your refrigerator stores something that smells bad, the tendency is to comment on it but do nothing. Each time you open the door, it stinks.

So, schedule a refrigerator cleaning session as soon as possible and keep in mind these tips to ensure that no odor remains inside your fridge.

Before you try to clean out your refrigerator, unplug the device first. Then, remove all contents inside the refrigerator. After that, you can remove the interior parts of your fridge so that you can thoroughly clean through all areas.

There are several solutions that you can use to help take away the odor. One is the baking soda solution consisting of two tablespoons baking soda and warm water. Clean the inside of your fridge by using the solution and rinse, wipe dry, and let it sit for several hours. You can also try the vinegar solution, which is 1 cup vinegar and a gallon of water or the chlorine bleach solution, ½ cup chlorine bleach, and a gallon of water. Similarly, clean your refrigerator with these solutions and rinse well. Wipe dry and let it stand for several hours.

While you are airing out your refrigerator, clean out the interior parts that you previously had taken out. You can use a regular liquid detergent and warm water. Rinse and wipe them dry.

If all of the interior parts of your refrigerator are all cleaned up, install them again inside your fridge so you can place your foods back in their cool, cozy haven. Make sure you dispose of any expired food ingredients as these can bring back bad odor.

In case your refrigerator still smells, place some baking soda on a bowl or a small plate and leave it in your refrigerator for several days. Regularly smell your refrigerator and if the odor is gone, you can dispose of the baking soda. You can also use fresh ground coffee or activated charcoal as these ingredients also effectively absorb odor.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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Spot the Dirtiest Place in Your House

When you walk around outside, it is easy to spot dirty areas like community trash bins, dirty sidewalks, and rusty old vehicles, just to name a few. You may feel cleaner and safer from germ by staying indoors.  However, walking into your house does not guarantee that you and your family are free from germs.

You may not know it, but there are many areas inside the house that are far dirtier than you would realize. These areas, if not cleaned regularly, may generate germs and other microorganisms that can pass diseases onto you when you come into contact with them.  It is best then to clean these areas regularly, so here are some high-germ areas to be extra aware of…

  • Toilet – It is no wonder that the toilet bowl is one of the dirtiest places in your home, and though you may flush it after every use, germs still collect, especially around the bowl and under the toilet seat.  To prevent excessive buildup, clean your toilet regularly with a reliable liquid toilet bowl cleaner. Spread the liquid cleaner around your toilet, being sure to reach the narrowest sides of bowl and under your toilet seat, and let it stand for several minutes.  Then, scrub it clean and spray it with a disinfectant.
  • Bathtub – You might think twice in going inside your bath tub after knowing that it is in the list but there is still hope. The tub is considered dirty because the germs that goes out of your body when you take a bath, stays in the bath. But, you can rid of the germs in this area. First, rinse the entire tub with your shower so any visible residue will go down the pipe. Using a bathroom cleaner, spray the tub generously and let it stay for several minutes. Use hand gloves and start scrubbing with a sponge or a scrub brush. Do not forget to clean the bottom.
  • Sink –No matter where they may belong, all sinks in your home are dirty, especially in the kitchen.  Your kitchen sink is where you clean foot off your plates, and that results in a breeding ground of germs.  If you sink is not cleaned thoroughly and regularly, those germs spread to your hands, which then touch a million other things, spreading the germs to them as well.  To stop the fast and easy invasion of bacteria, clean your sink using a bleach solution. Let the cleaner go down into the drain too, so it can kill the germs that live further down.  After the cleaner sets, scrub the sink with a clean sponge and warm water.
  • Wet Laundry – Anything moist can lead to mold and bacteria formation, and that includes your laundry.  A quick remedy is to not let wet clothes stay in your hamper for several days and to remember to transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer immediately after a cycle completes.
  • Kitchen and Bathroom Floors – These are high-traffic areas and, if possible, it is a good idea to mop them every day with a floor cleaner and warm water.
  • Pet Food Dishes – Clean them often as you would clean a used plate. They reside on the floor, which means they are not only exposed to bacteria already residing in your house, but also to everything that is on the bottom of your shoes as you walk by.
  • Telephone – As we talk more on the phone, more germs build up. Wipe your phone with alcohol at the end of each day to avoid having it become a breeding ground for germs.
  • Doorknobs and Handles – These are the first things we touch when we come inside, so anything that we touched while we were outside is going to be on them.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors

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